Black Honduras airmail stamp brings $149,500 at the Santa Fe collection auction

We've reported a number of times on the various facets of the extraordinary Santa Fe collection. The South America section sold last night with some strong prices achieved.

As expected, the Honduras section was the one to watch in particular. However, before we get onto the headline lot, the most spectacular result against estimate was achieved by an exhibit collection of 1925 Aero Correo Air Post overprints.

1925 Aero Correo overprints
A page from the 1925 Aero Correo overprints collection

This consisted of a one-frame exhibit written-up on 16 pages with 10 covers. There are an incredible 11 "sheets" with complete settings of 12 including 5c blue with black and with blue overprints, 10c dark blue (red overprint), 25c on 1c (two sheets, one with displaced overprint), 50c red, 20c brown (blue and black overprints), 25c on 5c (blue), varieties including inverted and double overprints, also tete-beche (horizontal and vertical) and a vertical overprint on 20c (vertical tete-beche pair).

The collection was listed at $25,000, which was probably always a little modest given the calibre of the stamps and the highly impressive list of previous owners (including Liechtenstein and Col Greene), but surely no one expected it to quadruple its estimate, which it did, bringing $115,000.

These taken together with the top lot represented the largest holding of these classic Air Post issues. That top lot of course was the Black Honduras.

Black Honduras 1925 airmail stamp
Black Honduras 1925 airmail stamp

The 1925 25c on 10c black is unused with a large part of its original gum. It bears a hinge remnant and is signed by Herbert Bloch of Scott Stamps and Coin Company, Cole etc., with a 1974 Philatelic Foundation Certificate.

It is one of only two known and the other, the 'Ustaritz example' is lost, perhaps forever due to its accidental loss in New York.

Listed at $100,000, this one climbed still higher to $149,500. Collectors searching for unique philatelic items will wish to take a look at the unique olive-bistre block of four - known as the greatest treasure in Hong Kong philately - which we are offering right now with our 120% guarantee.

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